Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton’s Psychoville returned for its second series tonight, with more mysteries to unfold and perhaps their creepiest creation yet.
Things continued on from the cliffhanger at the end of the last series and the Halloween special that introduced Imelda Staunton’s character. Like last time, there are many disparate and seemingly unconnected threads in the first episode which will slowly come together over the coming weeks. Pemberton has often mentioned that American drama series are as much an influence on Psychoville as any comedy or horror references, with its unravelling mysteries and cliffhangers that leave you wanting more, something that was quite clear in this episode, with its shocking conclusion. That’s not to say it wasn’t funny either, a hospital-based scene with serial killer-obsessed David which included an appearance from David Cann (the doctor from Chris Morris’ Jam) as, once again, a doctor.
Of course, the one thing everyone will be talking about will be the Silent Singer, which might just be for Psychoville what Papa Lazarou was for the League of Gentlemen. We’re introduced to a new character, a particularly officious librarian who occasionally sees this creature dancing around with a walking stick and says “Not now, Silent Singer!”. Somehow Reece Shearsmith in blonde pigtails and sharp teeth is really quite terrifying, a few steps away from the grotesque creations of Chris Cunningham.
It was a great start to the second series, an episode once again mixing chills with laughs and a dramatic ending. I’m hooked again.